The Healthland Podcast: Menu Calorie Counts, the New Happy Meals, and Polygamy

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Welcome again to the podcast, which is now available on iTunes! Click subscribe—it’s free, and you will get this podcast every week on your mobile device. This week we discuss why restaurant calorie counts may not work, why McDonald’s should be applauded for its new Happy Meals, and the psychology of polygamy. You can either download the podcast from iTunes or click the play button below to hear us immediately:

TIME health writer Alice Park (@AliceParkNY) is sitting in again this week while Healthland editor Sora Song is away getting even healthier (healthlandier?). Last week, Alice discussed her story on how calorie counts on chain-restaurant menus may be inaccurate; this week, Alice follows up with news from our contributor Tara Thean showing that menu listings of calories have only a marginal effect on how we order at restaurants.

John (@JohnAshleyCloud) followed Alice with a strident defense of the McDonald’s Corp., which announced this week that it is changing its Happy Meals to include apples and only a small portion of French fries in every box. The company also said it plans to reduce sodium in its offerings by 15%.

And Belinda (@youseless) updated us on the news about polygamy (cult leader Warren Jeffs went on trial this week, and the case against reality-TV subject Kody Brown continues). Belinda mentioned her story on the move to legalize polygamy, and John reminisced about his 1999 piece on polyamory.

In our Field Notes section, John talked about taking modafinil, a performance-enhancing drug similar to the one depicted in the movie Limitless. Alice looked at a judge’s ruling in favor of stem-cell research. And Belinda discussed new research on how cranberries can help infections.

Please comment below on any of these discussions. John will be checking in to moderate.

See you next week!